2.3 - Words and Their Types

Section 2.3 - Words and their Types

 Words used in the Arabic language are of two kinds: Single مُفْرَدٌ (muf-ra-dun) and Compound مُرَكَّبٌ (mu-rak-ka-bun).

 A. Single-word مُفْرَدٌ (muf-ra-dun) is a word that points to a singular meaning. Another term for a single word is ka-li-ma-tun كَلِمَةٌ. Words are of three types:


1)     Noun اِسْمٌ (Is-mun)

The basic definition of a aNoun is the same as English in Arabic.


2)     Verb فِعْلٌ (Feil-un)

The definition of a Verb is also the same as English. An important thing to remember is that Verb always has a time associated with it. Another difference is that Arabic uses two tenses, one for past clled مَاضِيْ (maa-di) and one for all other present, present continuous, and future tenses or Imperfect Tense called مُضَارِعٌ (mu-daa-ri-un).

3)     Particle حَرْفٌ (Harf-un)

The Arabic language does not have joining words such as “of”, “as”, “in” etc. In its place, it uses Particles that change their meaning depending on the usage, and the context of the sentence is considered to draw its meaning. These will be described in detail later in the book.


State (حَالَةٌ haa-la-tun) of a Noun


To understand the states of a Noun, First, we have to learn the term إِعْرَابٌ (eraa-bun), translated as flexibility. E’raab literally means “to Arabicise.” The equivalent for e’raabs in English would be the vowels used to change the sound in a different direction. In Arabic, short vowels or harakahs (dammah, fathah, and kasrah) are used. Very critical to note in Arabic is that harakahs are not e’raabs. In general, though, a Dammah is used for Nominative, Fathah for Accusative, and a kasrah for Genitive. Harakahs are used in a Noun to show their state without changing their meaning.


A Noun can be only one of the three states described below. We will discuss why and when these states occur in later sections.


1. The Nominative   رَفْعٌ (raf-un as in “rough”)

2.The Accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun)

3. The Genitive جَرٌّ (jar-run) jar as in “ger” in german”)


For example, حَامِدٌ Hami-dun (Nominative state) حَامِدًا Hami-dan (Accusative state) and, حَامِدٍ Hami-din (Genitive state) are three different states of the Noun حَامِدٌ (Hami-dun) which is a name and its meaning has not changed but states have. The states indicate the position of the Noun in a sentence as to whether it is an object مَفْعُوْلٌ or a subject/actor فَاعِلٌ.


A Noun is considered to be always in the state of the nominative (رَفْعٌ raf-un) unless some reason causes it to go into accusative نَصْبٌ (nas-bun) or genitive جَرٌّ (Jar-run). That is, the Nominative رَفْعٌ (raf-un) is the natural state of a Noun. It is important to remember that harakahs do not necessarily imply a state. In general, though, you will find a dammah for nominative, a fathah for Accusative نَصْبٌnas-bun) and kasrah for genitive, but this is not always the case.


B. Compound مُرَكَّبٌ Mu-rak-ka-bun: This is made with two or more words. There are two types: complete مُفِيْدٌ mufee-dun and incomplete غَيْرُمُفِيْدٍ ghai-ru mufee-dun.


A complete Compound مُفِيْدٌ, which is also called a sentence اَلْجُمْلَةُ(al-jum-latu) or speech اَلْكَلَامُ(al-kalaa-mu) meaningfully expresses a statement, question, or other information.


An incomplete Compound غَيْرُمُفِيْدٍ(ghairu mufee-dun) is a fragment that does not entirely convey a statement, question, or other information. These compounds are divided into several types with different names by Grammarians. We will be covering four commonly used compounds:


1. Descriptive Compound مُرَكَّبُ التَّوْصِيْفِيْ (murak-kabut Tausifi)

2. Demonstrative Compound مُرَكَّبُ الْاِشَارِىْ (murak-ka-bul Ishari)

3. Possessive Compound مُرَكَّبُ الْإِضَافِيْ (murak-ka-bul idafi)

4. Genitive Compound مُرَكَّبُ الْجَارِّيْ (murak-ka-bul jaarri) and       Particles of Jarr حُرُوْفُ الْجرِّ (huroof-ulJarri)


Compound words will be described in more detail later.








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